Canterbury-bankstown Teachers Association, Revesby NSW, made the following submission on the project:

Revised Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor Urban Renewal Corridor Strategy

I write to express concerns of the Canterbury-Bankstown Teachers Association (union) branch as to the Sydenham-Bankstown corridor plan, as expressed at our July meeting.

These are

1. Need for additional schools to cater for increased student population.
2. Transport to cater for current and additional students
3. Recreational space

1. Additional schools

Your proposal for 34,000 new dwellings suggests a population increase of around 50,000 or more. Of these, 15,000 could well be primary to high school age students. The substantial incoming migrant demographic of this area suggests this assumption could well be higher.

15,000 students would require around 5 new high school and more than 10 new primary schools.
However, your plan includes only 2 new primary schools at Campsie and possibly Canterbury Racecourse area, and an â€oeinvestigation of an expansion” of a high school in the Wiley Park/Belmore area. There are proposed upgrades to 3 other primary schools.

This disconnect between demand and supply seems stark. Already, schools in the area have significant resourcing issues, with demountable buildings present on many sites.

The 1960s/1970s Wyndham scheme, of which several schools in the corridor date, saw an expansion of public schools to accommodate both population growth as â€oebaby boomers” had children, and also the automation and need for greater skilled education of the time.

A similar expansion is required now, for this population growth, and for the shift to smaller class sizes as education shifts to student centred, â€oe21st century, high technology learning.

There is a relevant historical case to consider in planning for the future student needs of this area. In 2000, a then Labor state Government proposal, entitled â€oeBuilding the Future”, proposed selling off around 11 schools, many in this area, such as Marrickville then Dulwich High, and Wilkins Public. Overwhelmingly, local school communities opposed these cuts. History has shown not only were the schools needed (contrary to the negative population growth projection of the proposal, based on a misuse of past data where the historical high of 1986 was taken as an â€oearbitrary” start date), but that demand has more recently been challenging current school capacity.

2. Transport

The demands on transport in the area is already significant before and after school hours, for students, teachers and other commuters. The privatisation of the Bankstown line is of concern, and that the capacity will be less than the current 2 story heavy rail, especially in peak hours.

The privatisation and consequence decrease of public bus services will compound this problem.

The up to 1 year closure of the rail line, during the change to the metro line, will create a potentially critical impact on transport in the area.

3. Recreational space

With many families to reside increasingly in high rise housing, the need for open, expansive green spaces is increasingly important. This plan seems to have little increase in recreational space.

The future eyesight of current and future students is at risk, if their eyes are not stimulated by more distant views, as evidenced in recent medical studies. Open spaces are needed for active recreation, to address the worrying trend towards overweight children in Australia, to which this area is no exception.

The Wyndham scheme referred to above addressed this need with resumption of housing land to ensure student recreational space. This occurred to provide the school ovals at Sir Joseph Banks High School, Revesby and Tempe High School, on either end of the corridor, and at other schools in between.

We ask you to modify your proposal so as to accommodate these concerns, for the sake of current and future school students, teachers and communities of the area.

John Morris

Secretary, Canterbury-Bankstown Teachers Association